A man hoping to meet his online girlfriend IRL for the first time ever was reportedly hospitalized after waiting 10 excruciating days before throwing in the towel. Alexander Pieter Cirk had flown to Changsha in the Hunan province of China to meet a woman named Zhang after building up the seemingly solid relationship for two months online, CCTV News reports. Zhang, however, apparently thought Cirk's mention of an international journey was some sort of a joke.
"We had advanced our romantic relationship but later he seemed a little callous toward me," Zhang told CCTV News Sunday. "One day he sent me a photo of air tickets abruptly, and I thought it was a joke. He didn't contact me later." Cirk, as we now know, was definitely not joking.
But all is not lost for Cirk, 41, who Mashable reports was hospitalized for exhaustion after his 10-day display of patience. Zhang, 26, explained to local outlets that, despite her no-show status, she was still interested in keeping their relationship alive. She also clarified that she had "signed up for a plastic surgery" in another city at the time of his surprise trip, adding that her phone service had been briefly paused and she missed many of Cirk's airport messages.
The couple has since become a bit of a phenomenon in China, with devoted followers of the couple expressing their support on regional social media outlet Weibo. "This Dutch man seems pure in heart," one user wrote. I have no idea about hearts or whatever, but waiting inside an airport for 10 days sounds like some serious work.
After recovering, Cirk hopped a flight back to his home in the Netherlands Monday.